EPRA to Collaborate with Security Agencies to Crack Down on Illegal LPG Filling Stations

The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) has announced plans to join forces with security agencies in a concerted effort to identify and shut down illegal LPG filling stations, as part of its strategy to prevent gas-related tragedies.

Among the proposed measures, EPRA intends to enlist the expertise of a National Intelligence liaison officer and officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to track down criminals operating within the gas distribution sector.

Additionally, EPRA plans to work closely with the public prosecutor’s office to appoint its legal officers as prosecutors, bolstering efforts to enforce regulatory compliance within the industry.

These enforcement initiatives will be complemented by extensive public awareness campaigns aimed at promoting safety among consumers.

The regulatory authority outlined these proactive measures in response to the recent gas explosion tragedy in Embakasi, which claimed seven lives and injured hundreds.

EPRA’s submissions were made to Parliament’s Committee on Energy, which is conducting investigations into the incident.

EPRA also highlighted its intention to update the LPG data verification process to ensure the safety of products from importation to retail.

In a detailed report, EPRA identified Derick Kimathi as the owner of the illegal LPG filling plant responsible for the explosion.

The facility had been denied licensing three times in 2023 due to failure to provide a Qualitative Risk Assessment (QRA), despite being located in a residential area.

Notably, Mr Kimathi is also the proprietor of Maxxis Nanyuki Energy, which holds a license for transporting petroleum products excluding LPG.

The gas explosion was attributed to a leaking gas tanker owned by Klear Mwiki Gas Suppliers, licensed for LPG transportation. Both licenses have been suspended by EPRA in the wake of the incident.

Earlier pronouncements by Cabinet Secretary for Energy and Petroleum, Davis Chirchir, revealed plans to shut down 138 LPG facilities nationwide for failing to meet the technical audit score threshold of 50%.

EPRA has already suspended 49 licenses of LPG plants located within close proximity to residential areas, as part of its ongoing efforts to enforce safety standards in the industry.


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